Apr 11, 2008

Yeah... What SHE Said!!

pregnancy cartoon


Everyone has heard of diabetes, and most people know there are two major types, simply called type 1 and type 2. But there is a third type, called gestational diabetes, which is different from the others:

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It's temporary, and it only affects pregnant women.

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In a nutshell, diabetes is a condition where glucose (sugar) builds up in your blood rather than being distributed to the places it's needed (the liver, muscles, fatty tissues, etc.).

Glucose needs insulin to deliver it to its intended destinations; diabetes is when the body either doesn't produce enough insulin, or else the body is for some reason resistant to insulin.

Gestational diabetes typically develops in the second trimester, if it develops at all. (It happens in about 2-5 percent of all pregnancies, though there are factors that put some women more at risk than others.)

In a pregnant woman, the placenta produces hormones such as estrogen, cortisol, and human placental lactogen. In the second and third trimesters, production of these hormones increases dramatically, and they disrupt the insulin as it tries to move the glucose along.

This is known as insulin resistance: Your body is producing enough of it, but the hormones being produced by the placenta are interfering with it.

Now, with most women, the body corrects the problem by simply producing more insulin. That way, it doesn't matter if the other hormones are inhibiting some of it; there's enough extra to compensate for it and still get the job done.

But if your pancreas (which produces insulin) can't manage the extra demand, then the glucose hangs around in your blood, lacking the insulin it needs to transport it to where it belongs. And that's gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes develops around the 20th week of pregnancy, though it often can't be detected until around the 25th week.

Women who have had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies are at risk to develop it again, so they should be extra-cautious and be tested for it sooner.




source: Overcoming Gestational Diabetes newsletter

1 comment:

AZMom said...

Sorry to hear about this hon but at least it is temporary!! I am praying for you!

BTW, I love the name you picked out too!

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